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Diabetes Self-Management Education and Credentialled Diabetes Educators

Diabetes self-management education is an ongoing process that supports people with diabetes and pre-diabetes, their family and carers, to achieve self-identified goals through:

Diabetes self-management education is client centred and outcomes focused. It integrates client identified needs and goals with clinical targets to achieve a continuum of outcomes. This process incorporates the needs, goals, and life experiences of the person with diabetes or pre-diabetes and is guided by evidence-based standards. Support may be educational, psychosocial, behavioural or clinical.

Diabetes self-management education is a structured, comprehensive, collaborative and ongoing process between the credentialled diabetes educator (CDE) and the person with diabetes or pre-diabetes and their support network, and includes:

Structured education is a process of education that ensures particular information is covered in education sessions that has been deemed essential for the self-management of diabetes and pre-diabetes. Structured education is important to ensure national standards of diabetes education are being met in accordance with the ADEA National Standards of Practice for Credentialled Diabetes Educators and ADEA National Standards of Practice for Diabetes Education Programs and other relevant documented guidelines for diabetes education such as International Diabetes Federation Clinical Practice Guidelines. Structured education allows for correct processes being followed, evidence-based best practice being implemented and reviews being made through continuous quality improvement.

CDEs utilise the following eight (8) key areas of education to facilitate and guide structured diabetes self-management education, while individualising education and providing person centred care:

1-      Understanding of the diabetes disease process and treatment options in order to make informed health and lifestyle choices

2-      Making appropriate food choices

3-      Incorporating physical activity into daily life

4-      Monitoring blood glucose and using results to improve diabetes management

5-      Using medications for therapeutic effectiveness

6-      Problem solving for high and low blood glucose levels and for sick days

7-      Adapting to work, family and social roles

8-      Reducing the risks of chronic complications.


CDEs current role and scope of practice is likely to include: